In a recent clinical trial performed by Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Illinois, stem cell treatment outperformed disease-modifying treatment (DMTs) in terms of halting disease progression for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). As the first trial to compare stem cell treatment against DMTs, the research uncovered noteworthy results. Specifically, just three patients who underwent stem cell therapy saw disease progression, compared to 34 who received DMT.
How Stem Cell Therapy Works for MS
Within the trial, MS patients received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), a range of therapies which involves mild immunosuppression. The treatment enables the cells to “forget” they have MS. Follow-up evaluations were performed at a mean interval of 2.8 years, and still, just three people in the HSCT group experienced disease progression. There were 110 randomized patients involved in the study. Moreover, in the first year, patients who received HSCT saw more than a one-point improvement in their EDSS scores, which measures symptoms such as muscle weakness, loss of coordination, tremors, numbness, bowel and bladder function, vision, and cerebral function.
Who Can Benefit from This?
While stem cell therapy holds promise for halting the disease’s progression and even improving symptoms in many cases, the researchers caution that it may not be right for every patient. It is not a cure and results per person can vary. Participants in the study had EDSS scores ranging from two to six and experienced relapsing MS with mild to moderate disabilities. In this particular form of treatment, the immune system was suppressed to the point at which it became vulnerable, so patients required the utmost level of care.
As with any treatment, different types of stem cell therapies carry specific risks and benefits. For this reason, it’s important to work with an experienced medical team if you’re considering this option.
This post was written by Becky Palmer, a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we offer Regenerative Medicine, also known as Stem Cell Therapy in Tampa, this therapy naturally acts to rebuild and regenerate neural tissues that are lost from the progression of all different types of diseases.